The MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (MIT REAP) engages with local communities around the world to stimulate and develop entrepreneurial and technological ecosystems.
Wallonia is part of the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP) in view of boosting its innovation ecosystem
This program was initiated in 2020, as a mission led to Boston by Wallonia-Brussels International (WBI) met economic, technological and scientific partners, with the aim to strengthen existing links with the best North American programmes that could serve Wallonia's interests.
The mission resulted in the incorporation of Wallonia in the MIT REAP program, a method for stimulating and developing entrepreneurial and technological ecosystems. This programme aims to support strategic players in building bridges between innovation and entrepreneurship at the local and, above all, international level, across all sectors. The ultimate goal is to accelerate the Region's economic and social progress with new, innovative strategies in line with markets and geopolitical developments.
MIT REAP "Team Wallonia"
The Walloon group of the MIT REAP program ("Team Wallonia") consists of twelve representatives, decision-makers and experts from the five pillars that make up the innovative ecosystems: universities (UMons), companies (AGC Glass, Ecosteryl, I-Care), clusters and federations (BioWin, Agoria), investors (SRIW, LeanSquare), incubators (The Faktory, La Smala), and public administrations (SPW, AWEX & WBI).
Team Wallonia attends workshops between Boston and Wallonia for the duration of the program (2021-2023). These workshops are interspersed with implementation phases in Wallonia. Wallonia is not alone in this endeavour as 6 other teams are part of the same cohort (cohort 8), namely: Los Angeles (USA), Manizales (Colombia), Eastern Province (Saudi Arabia), Northern Ireland (UK) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), as well as Egypt.
These teams will therefore come to feed the reflections during the workshops, will expose their own challenges and the solutions they wish to bring and are therefore already natural working partners for Wallonia.
What concrete benefits can Wallonia and its companies expect?
Since 2012, many other regions around the world have already followed this programme and have all, at different levels, recorded some degree of impact. This varies, of course, according to their stated objectives and the structure of the entrepreneurial ecosystems.
The most common strategic interventions deployed within the Regions following MIT REAP are:
The creation of new Public-Private Partnerships,
The creation or reinforcement of Innovation Centres,
The setting up of new Training Programmes,
The establishment of Acceleration Programmes for companies,
The implementation of New Public Regulations.
More on MIT REAP here.